If the Chicago Blackhawks are seriously shopping for a top-line left wing, what about looking into former team member Patrick Sharp?
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman loves to re-acquire former ’Hawks. Bowman traded Kris Versteeg after the 2009-10 season only to reacquire him in the 2013-14 season. He did the same thing with Andrew Ladd. Bowman’s predecessor, Dale Tallon, acquired Ladd for Tuomo Ruutu in 2008.
Bowman traded Ladd after 2009-10 in the first great salary cap purge to Atlanta. He would re-acquire Ladd from the Winnipeg Jets in 2015-16.
Bowman was not done bringing back former players even after the Ladd deal didn’t work out. This year, Bowman convinced Brian Campbell to return during the offseason. Now, Scott Powers of the Athletic is reporting that the Blackhawks could be interested in re-acquiring Patrick Sharp.
That is right, former Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp. The same player the Blackhawks dealt to the Dallas Stars for Ryan Garbutt and Trevor Daley as defenseman Stephen Johns also went the other way. Currently, none of the players that were acquired in the Sharp deal are still with the Blackhawks.
Acquiring Sharp makes sense
It has been well documented that Jonathan Toews has struggled this season. What better to jumpstart Toews than with a top-line winger he’s familiar with?
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Sharp makes sense for that reason. He is familiar with coach Joel Quenneville’s system and style of play. He has played with Toews recently and understands his game.
Unlike Ladd last year, Sharp can still produce points. It was only last season that he scored 20 goals for the Dallas Stars and chipped in 35 assists. He also enjoyed some of his best years with Quenneville at the helm in Chicago, recording 78 points in 2013-14.
Acquiring Sharp would help in the regular season but also in the playoffs. Sharp is a proven playoff performer. In 142 playoff games, he has 40 goals and 47 assists.
In case you forgot, he was also part of three Stanley Cup championships in Chicago and played big roles. He led the team in goals in the 2013 playoffs with 10 goals.
Concerns in a deal
There are several concerns with a potential deal. The major concern with the deal is Sharp’s health. He has only appeared in 20 games this season due to concussions and has a history of being injury prone.
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His last season of over 80 games was in 2013-14 with the Blackhawks. Sharp is also not young anymore, as he is 35 years old this season. Sharp might have answered those concerns with two goals in his last game on Tuesday, but they are still valid concerns. His stats for the season are 4 goals and 5 assists in 20 games.
Another major concern in the deal is the cap hit Sharp carries. Per Cap Friendly, Sharp will carry a daily cap hit of $2,655,000. While the Blackhawks will have $3,340,112 in cap space at the trade dead line, that’s still a heavy burden to bear.
Can the Blackhawks fit him under the cap and will he be healthy down the stretch?
Verdict: This trade will not happen
The best part of rumors is that they are just rumors. This trade is not going to happen for the following reasons. Reason one, the Dallas Stars are currently outside of the playoffs with 47 points as of Thursday morning. That is two points behind the L.A. Kings, who are in the final wild-card spot. If the Stars are smart, they will not be selling assets at the trade deadline.
What can the Blackhawks offer the Stars? The Blackhawks are not going to be trading draft picks with the draft in Chicago this year. Are the ’Hawks going to give a lower-round pick for a 35-year-old soon-to-be free agent forward? Will the Stars accept that for Sharp? Those are two questions that have to be answered.
The Stars also have to be willing to trade within their own division mid-season. When Sharp was sent to Dallas, it was in the offseason and Jim Nill had Bowman over a barrel. Bowman needed to move $5.9 million off his cap. Now Bowman is the position of strength. Nill might need to unload the soon-to-be free agent or lose him for nothing if the Stars fall out of the race.
The mostly likely scenario is that the Blackhawks acquire a lesser-name forward and Sharp re-signs with the Blackhawks in the off-season. Bowman gets Sharp back for just money as a cheaper cap hit. That has been my speculation since he was traded to Dallas.